Blackhawks 2024 NHL Draft Profile 1.0 includes an ultra-intriguing local product

The Chicago Blackhawks have the second and 18th overall picks, and a local product could be there when the Hawks select with that second first-rounder.
All-American Game
All-American Game / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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How intriguing is Hage’s game, and what are his weaknesses?

I mentioned several times about Michael Hage either shifting through traffic himself to find an open shooting or passing lane, shooting through traffic, and even completing tape-to-tape passes in some of the most narrow windows. You can attribute much of this to his compete level, something that’s also evident thanks to his willingness to crash the net, engage in puck battles, and chase pucks. 

You can also attribute his outstanding play to a high hockey IQ, but that doesn’t stop Hage from sometimes calling his own number a little too often. He’s prone to forcing passes, something that I foreshadowed when I mentioned ‘tight’ or ‘narrow’ windows, sometimes putting too much faith in his ability to relay the puck to a teammate. Doing this has led to easy turnovers, and Hage is prone to doing this for stretches. 

There are also times when he can overthink when his team doesn’t have the puck, and he’s prone to biting when an opponent draws him in, or he’ll do the opposite and hesitate. By the time he reacts, the puck is already on the stick of an opponent or in the back of the net. 

His overall defensive game isn’t where it needs to be yet, but he’s a player who will put forth a defensive effort, and that’s not the case for all draft prospects. Offensively, Hage is one of the best players you’ll find in the 2024 draft class, and his offensive game should keep getting better throughout his time in Ann Arbor. 


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